As part of our transition to a healthier lifestyle I find myself wanting to teach our boys about how food is produced, grown and/or raised. Throughout the summer and fall we make frequent trips to the local farmer’s market and I love that the kids notice when certain foods are “in season”. When we start our trips in June they see a lot of peas, asparagus, rhubarb, etc… and as we move into the fall months they start seeing squash, lettuces, and root vegetables. It’s been a great talking point as we explain that different fruits and vegetables thrive in different weather conditions so farmers plan accordingly and grow different things in different seasons. The tricky part is during the long winter months when there isn’t much of anything growing up here in the Northwoods. It’s hard to know which foods are “in season” when all we see on a daily basis is a blanket of white snow. Luckily, I found a web-site dedicated to educating people about which foods are in season and when called Eat Seasonbly. The web-site is jam packed with information about seasonal eating and they include a lot of tips and recipes for using seasonal fruits and vegetables. I downloaded the following chart from their site and have it hanging on our refrigerator to serve as a reminder of which fruits/vegetables to watch for during the next few months.
If you look at the Eat Seasonably web-site you’ll see that the two vegetables named as “January’s best” are kale and carrots. Kale is packed with iron and it’s a great food to add to soups and stews or you can make one of our family favorites…kale chips! Simply remove the stem from each kale leaf, cut each leaf into chip size pieces, spray a cookie with olive oil, lay kale pieces flat on the cookie sheet and lightly spray the kale with olive oil, sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese over the top and bake at 250 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and the kale is crispy.
Today’s lunch includes: peanut butter roll up on flaxseed Lavash bread, Ellsworth cheese curds, carrots and hummus, kale chips, 2 squares of dark chocolate packed in a Planet Lunch Box